Archive for March, 2010

Get an Obligation Free Online Trial of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Discover how to power up your sales, marketing & service to customers. Check out this new site to learn about CRM and give it a go. 

Cheers, Ross


New Dynamics CRM Book Available

March 31, 2010 Leave a comment

Microsoft Press Publishes Working With Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Happy Easter everyone! Ross

Microsoft Releases Technical Preview of Next Generation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM

March 26, 2010 Leave a comment

The Community Technical Preview 3 for the next generation of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, code-named “CRM5” has been announced. This CTP is primarily aimed at software developers within the broad partner base of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, including independent software vendors (ISVs), global system integrators (GSIs), hosting partners and value-added resellers (VARs), giving them an opportunity to start early development and testing of their solutions for this new release.

“With this next version, Microsoft is continuing to drive new levels of user productivity and collaboration, giving customers deep core CRM capabilities, low total cost of ownership, and fast and easy deployment options for their CRM applications,” said Brad Wilson, general manager of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

More information about “CRM5” is available at the Microsoft Dynamics CRM team blog at More information on partner opportunities with Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be found at the Microsoft Partner Network Web site,

The full press release this is extracted from can be viewed on Microsoft PressPass here:

Cheers, Ross

The Cloud Fuels Microsoft and Microsoft Fuels the Cloud

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Recently Steve Ballmer made an important speech about how the most widely used software in the world is now made for the cloud. Twenty million businesses and over a billion people use Microsoft cloud services. We and our partners are committed to delivering a broad set of enterprise-ready products and services that build on what you already know. We’re all in.

In the speech Ballmer identifies five key dimensions of the cloud and shows how they can help you get ahead. From creating opportunity for businesses and their customers, to enabling new and meaningful ways to communicate, the cloud is redefining our technology environment. Check out this site if you want to watch this speech or learn more about what Microsoft means when we say “We’re all in” with respect to the industry movement to Cloud Computing.

Cheers, Ross

Upcoming Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Fast Track Training

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

Advanced Training is conducting Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Fast Tracks in both Melbourne and Sydney. All courses conducted will also included exam preparation.

Course Name


Course Date


8913: Applications

Exam MB2-632: CRM 4.0 Applications

Sydney: 3-5 May 2010

Melbourne: 3-5 May 2010


8911: Installation and Deployment

Exam MB2-633: CRM 4.0 Installation and Deployment

Sydney: 6-7 May 2010

Melbourne: 6-7 May 2010


8912: Customization and Configuration

Exam MB2-631: CRM 4.0 Customization and Configuration

Sydney: 10-12 May 2010

Melbourne: 19 – 21 May 2010


Extending Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0

Exam MB2-634: CRM 4.0 Extending Microsoft Dynamics

Sydney: 22-24 March 2010

Melbourne: 28 –30 April 2010


SPECIAL: Book on three courses and receive three Microsoft exam vouchers

IMPORTANT: 2nd shot free on exams is available until June 2010. Click here for 2nd shot details. Register now as seats are filling fast. To register for these courses simply fill in this enrolment form and fax to Advance Training on (03) 9600 3611.

Cheers, Ross

Insight – Hard to Come By, Invaluable When Connected to Your Business Strategy

March 24, 2010 Leave a comment

An associated topic to the world of CRM, is gleaning insight from the operational data in CRM and associated business systems. In this blog entry, I explore the concept of business insight and expose what I believe to be a major breakthrough in this area that is coming very soon with the release of Office 2010. Read on to discover!

How much value can an Microsoft Excel user derive from Microsoft’s Business Intelligence stack without having to pick up a book on OLAP, Dimensional Modelling or SQL Server Analysis Services? Users and managers want to derive insight from their business systems. This is often a tough thing to do. It doesn’t have to be. It can actually be a fun exercise by allowing your curiosity to drive you through operational information to discover amazing things happening, or not happening, in the business. This new found insight can then support business strategy and measure execution of that strategy.

Microsoft Excel has long been the dominant data analysis tool in the enterprise. Despite the availability of alternative solutions, employees and decision makers continue to favour Microsoft Excel because the user interface is familiar and the analysis features are comprehensive and intuitive. Workbooks and spreadsheets are easy to use. Without having to wait weeks or months for IT to deliver BI solutions, users can import data from virtually any source directly into a workbook, process the data using Excel formulas and other data manipulation capabilities, and analyse the data in a variety of ways using PivotTables. In the 2007 release, Excel increased the row support from 64,000 to 1 million rows. This was fantastic, and has meant that Excel has grown in use as the dominant data analysis tool, but that isn’t enough for all the myriad of insight that needs to be gleaned from the volumes of operational data, from CRM and other systems, available in many organisations today.

PowerPivot for Excel 2010 takes the self-service BI capabilities of Excel to an unprecedented level. As a separate add-in, PowerPivot exploits the familiarity of Excel while adding an in-memory BI engine and new compression algorithms to load even the biggest data sets into memory. Users can process enormous quantities of data with incredible speed. Processing millions of rows takes about the same time as processing thousands, and by using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) in addition to standard Excel features, power users can easily create advanced workbook applications that rely on data relationships between tables as in a database, include calculated columns and measures, and aggregate over billions of rows. In many cases, PowerPivot for Excel 2010 can establish the table relationships automatically. Workbooks can become more powerful and more mission-critical than ever.

PowerPivot integrates with SharePoint Server 2010 as a reliable platform for building the managed BI collaboration environment. Among other capabilities, SharePoint facilitates seamless and secure sharing and collaboration on user-generated workbook applications, while PowerPivot provides the management tools and usage data that put IT in control of “spreadmarts”.

The success of BI in the enterprise depends on the ability of the BI environment to satisfy user needs, IT needs, and business requirements. Users want to work with familiar tools and need clear and accurate answers to their questions. A great example is below. After spending a few minutes formatting and laying out controls just the way we want them, we end up with a very functional, self-contained workbook which acts as an application:

PowerPivot for Excel 2010 is an application-level Excel add-in that implements advanced data analysis features, enhances the user experience through ribbon customisations and spreadsheet templates, and overrides the default PivotTable field list to implement its own task pane, thereby enabling the functionality of OLAP PivotTables and PivotCharts without requiring SQL Server Analysis Services cubes.

The PowerPivot for Excel 2010 architecture relies on an add-in assembly, a VertiPaq engine, and a VertiPaq database module. The VertiPaq engine performs query processing and implements a column-based data store with efficient compression algorithms to get massive amounts of data directly into memory. With all the data in memory, PowerPivot can perform its query processing, data scans, calculations, and aggregations without having to go to disk. As a consequence of working with column-based data and avoiding the overhead of disk I/O operations, PowerPivot for Excel 2010 achieves a very high analysis performance.

In summary, PowerPivot for Excel 2010 is a data analysis tool that delivers unmatched computational power directly within the application users already know and love—Microsoft Excel. You can transform enormous quantities of data with incredible speed into meaningful information to get the answers you need in seconds. You can effortlessly share your findings with others. PowerPivot can even help the IT department improve operational efficiencies through SharePoint-based management tools.

Are you already using the beta of Office 2010? Start your PowerPivot for Excel adventure today. Learn more about PowerPivot for Excel 2010 and download the free add-in at If you haven’t got the beta of Office 2010 installed, then get it from here:

Cheers, Ross

Categories: Uncategorized

Complimentary Sales ROI Webinar

March 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Take part in one of several complimentary Sales ROI Webinar and discover Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions that can both power sales and seamlessly integrate with your existing Microsoft applications. These seminars are happening over April and May in various locations around Australia.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM solutions use day-to-day, familiar programs such as Outlook, Word and Excel – meaning your team can spend less time training sales staff on new systems.

Hosted by a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Certified Business Partner the Sales ROI Webinar will take you through the benefits, challenges and outcomes of optimising how your business manages customer data.

Find out more and register today

Cheers, Ross